14 November 2020 marked the day when IN10 Media launched its brand new kids channel Gubbare-Masti ke Phuwarre. With its robust content, the new channel gained a strong viewership and audience which prompted the team to expand their library by launching various local animated IPs; the first animated IP being Akki Jaanbaaz, which has been a great success.
In conversation with Animation Xpress, Gubbare AVP – content and strategy, Brian D’costa revealed the plans and strategies for Gubbare for the upcoming years.
Here are some excerpts
Congratulations on creating your first IP which has also gone on to become so successful. Can you share the thought behind creating this show? What made you finally decide on coming up with your own IPs?
We launched Gubbare in November 2020, the idea behind starting the channel is to give kids different forms of entertainment and very interesting content across the world. A lot of our shows are globally curated and handpicked by our acquisition team across the globe. It did well and we created a niche in the market. We wanted to level up and create our IP, as we witnessed how locally developed IPs did well for top leading broadcasters. We always wanted to keep our IPs different from other launched IPs and that’s where our first IP Akki Jaanbaaz idea came from. Our Akki Jaanbaaz stands out from the other action shows, as we are doing the same action story with a magical martial art which is a story that has never been explored before. After the launch, we decided to do more local IPs, as local content has more local connections and it is easier to connect with kids. Our IPs are curated in a way that it can cater to local as well as global audiences.
Please shed light on the making of Akki Jaanbaaz and what was the creative process behind it?
It was an amazing experience as I have worked with Toonz earlier. Before I joined Gubbare, Akki Jaanbaaz was already pitched to Gubbare and the team was at the core stage of developing the concept. We developed the story, and the writing was very different because magical martial arts is a different and newer concept. I am a big fan of martial arts and Stephen Chow is one of my favourites. Kung Fu Hustle also has a lot of influence on Akki Jaanbaaz because it is the kind of magical martial arts which India was yet to see. Even in another genre, Kung Fu Hustle is the only movie that people know and understand and on top of that, it is an unreal kind of action that one can find in south movies. We wanted to highlight and give a great style of fighting; it’s basically when Jackie Chan meets Stephen Chow then the byproduct will be Akki Jaanbaaz .
Tell us about Gubbare’s IP character selection/acquisition process?
I have been in the content industry for 20 years and what I have noticed is that there are good IPs with good concepts, average IPs but with very good concepts. The only strange thing in all these is how different it has been treated. The treatment is the main focus for us. Even with Akki Jaanbaaz, we wanted a very different kind of treatment which can be seen in the animation quality in terms of fighting and action. We did the entire show in Flash but only the action sequence was treated in Harmony. The treatment of the action sequence in Harmony took much more time when compared to 2D animation. At Gubbare we believe in being different, we believe in being disruptors rather than doing a similar show with a few modifications. The concept always stands at the core of our selection, we always look at what is different from others be it in horror-comedy, action-comedy, or slapstick comedy. In a nutshell, we can say we look for the wow factor which makes the show unique from other shows running on the competitor channel.
Could you share with us the viewership and ratings of Akki Jaanbaaz?
It is too early to talk about the ratings and viewership for Akki, but the response from trade, industry, and the kids has been overwhelming. It has been received well. We have done a great marketing campaign across Akki, we have AR-VR filters, right from contest to influencer challenge, YoYo challenge. We explored every space and we have a lot of stuff coming up in the marketing space for Akki. We had a great launch and the show is performing well, however, we are focusing on making Akki Jaanbaaz a great show.
What are the factors according to you which make Akki Jaanbaaz a favourite with kids?
Akki Jaanbaaz is different from all the shows, as we are all aware of Marvel and DC universe there are always two sides of characters one is weak and the other is strong. For example, Clark Kent is a reporter who becomes a super strong Superman. But here, Akki is a normal kid with his strength, who is very obedient and respects elders. In simple words, we can say Akki is the child that everyone desires for. Akki being a superhero always solves problems with his mechanisms. He never invites violence but tries to solve problems in his way. Through Akki we promote that whenever there is a danger use your mechanisms to defend yourselves. Dadu is another amazing character who gives life lessons to the kids.
What are the other IPs Gubbare is working on?
We are working on a couple of IPs, which we are planning to release in summer; Roro aur Hero – Bhoot mast! Zabardast and Akul aur Nakul – The Asuras. Both the shows cater to different genres, explore the themes of friendship, family, and good vs evil but with comedy and with the help of the lovable characters. Roro aur Hero is our first 3D animated show. It features the friendship of two friends – Roro who is always seeking help and Hero the ghost who with his magical powers always comes to help Roro. It is a ghost comedy that takes kids on a fun trip.
Secondly, Akul aur Nakul – The Asuras is a much eagerly awaited show of Gubbare and it is one of my favourite shows because it is the first of its kind which has an entire bucket of the genre. The core remains friendship here. The two friends teach good values to Asuras kids who are sent to Earth. It is all about teaching people that if bad asuras exist then definitely good asuras also exist on Earth.
What are your plans for Gubbare?
As earlier mentioned, at Gubbare we believe in being different, we believe in being disruptors. We are planning to develop more local animated IPs with different storylines and concepts. Exploring different concepts and genres will be our main core focus in upcoming years. We want to build global bank IP for us. Our IPs will be curated in a way to cater to local audiences as well as the global market.